Every year, the Fraser Institute publishes a series of School Report Cards that rank the academic performance of elementary and secondary schools in Ontario. These rankings are based on Grade 3, Grade 6, Grade 9 Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) test results and Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) results. Ranking schools solely on the basis of their student performance on these reading, writing and mathematics tests is a problematic practice.
The Toronto District School Board does not support the ranking of schools for a number of reasons. School rankings encourage quick judgements about the overall school quality that cannot be substantiated by such limited information, in this case EQAO tests and OSSLT results. These school rankings do not provide important contextual information about the student experience in these schools, nor do they accurately reflect broader information about the quality of student learning within these schools. These rankings do not take into account important social and economic factors that also contribute to testing performance such as special education needs, and students whose first language is not English.
While there is no evidence that shows ranking schools improves student learning, EQAO/OSSLT results do indeed provide the TDSB with valuable information. Each year, the TDSB examines board-wide and school-by-school EQAO and OSSLT results to determine gaps and areas where students need extra help.
In the end, judgments of school quality should not be based on one single piece of information, but on the whole picture of what each school has to offer. We would encourage any parent to speak with their school if they have concerns about EQAO/OSSLT results as they can provide this important context.